The film American Beauty adopts many negative attitudes of the American society it depicts.
These attitudes explore the nature of imprisonment, true beauty and materialism.
The confusion and dissolution of Beauty is another negative attitude of the depicted American society.
Through the video lens of Ricky Fitts the director explores as a filter to depict the nature of True Beauty in contrast to the false and blurred vision of beauty in the eyes of society.
Firstly, in the shower scene we see Lestor trapped behind glass walls.
This symbolic glass wall is again used by Mendes in the following scene where Lestor is again trapped behind the glass windows in the house, a boundary which is caused by the nature of his materialistic wife Carolyn.In the next scene we again see Lestor in another jail cell while he is sleeping in the car.He is unaware he is in the car or jail cell as he is sleeping, while we see, through a low angle perspective shot, the outside world through the car window. We again see the director deliberately use Lestor’s computer screen as another jail cell, with numbers written in a column format.We again see conflicting attitude of True beauty through the plastic bag video recording from Ricky.In this scene the constant panning of the video recording displays a wind caring circular movements around dead leaves, sometimes whipping it about violently, or without warning, sending it soaring skyward, floating gracefully down to the ground.This is again another ‘jail cell’ symbolic in the mirror as Jane is trapped in the perception of True beauty, ironically the viewer is also confused why Ricky is more interested in Jane.Here we see the director use the film technique of the video camera lens to view Jane and the sutle symbolic techniques used.We see the director, in the scene with Angela and Jane in Jane’s room, reflect on this contradiction of beauty.This scene is a microcosm of the film itself as Ricky zooms past Angela, who we think and also society depicts as being beautiful and sexy, into the reflection of Jane’s face in the glass mirror, who is infidently embodying a rarer beautiful and interest.However at the end of the film Lestor’s perception of Angela’s Beauty changes as she mentions she is a virgin.Therefore, Angela ironically possesses an innocent natural Beauty which Lestor comes to understand. This setting of roses, in this sense are symbolic as the house is a simple material object one of societal expectations, yet the house and its inhabitants possess an artificial beauty which yearns True beauty.